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JULY 2003


VOICES UNITED - index WV CHAPTER OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF GRANDPARENTS FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

VOICES UNITED,INC.

WE ARE CHILDREN'S RIGHTS ADVOCATES Who just happen to be grandparents.

GRANDPARENT NATIONAL FREE TOLL HOT LINE
1-866- 624-9900
phone/fax 1-866-624-9900

Executive Director National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights (New York state)
BRIGITTE


President National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights (West Virginia)
LOLA


Vice President National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights (Maryland)
PAT

Secretary National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights (CA)
CHERYL

CLICK HERE TO JOIN
National Committee of Grandparents For Children's Rights, Inc.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ONLY MAGAZINE ESPECIALLY FOR GRANDPARENTS WWW.GRANDPARENTSFORCHILDREN.ORG

CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND

AARP
GENERATIONS UNITED
CHILDREN'S RIGHTS COUNCIL
THE CWLA
ABA
CRC

VOICES UNTIED, INC.


WHO WE ARE AND WHERE WE WANT TO GO

VOICES UNITED INC. are groups of parents, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, brothers, sisters, fosterparents and other interested parties working together through support groups, education and legislative action to ensure that "THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD" is the POLAR STAR in all situations involving children.

THAT: "All of the Children" Regardless of where or how or with whom they live. WILL BE ASSURED that their rights and concerns are paramount to any and everyone's. That society has a responsibility to make sure that children are given a chance to grow into mature, responsible adults, and able to reach the highest potential that they are capable of obtaining with the least amount of exposure to abuse, mental, physical, or sexual but with the most stability and love that is possible to provide. To make sure that all in charge of doing so, do it with the utmost of care and responsibility and are held accountable for their actions.

We are not only responsible for what we do

But also for that what we don't do!

--Voltaire--


We believe that children have the right to be raised by their parents.
We believe that all states should support co-parenting laws
A CHILD'S LIBERTY INTEREST TO MAINTAIN ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIPS WITH PERSONS OTHER THAN THEIR PARENTS

FEDERAL COURT RULING FEB. 2005
Judge Shoob's decision in Kenny A.v. Sonny Perdue, I failed to note that the judge's opinion did not specifically reference the U.S. Constitution but rather the due process clause of the Georgia Constitution. However, the judge's constitutional analysis noted that under BOTH the Georgia and U.S. Constitutions, children must be given due process when their liberty or property interests are at stake. The judge found that children's fundamental liberty interests are at stake in dependency proceedings and then applied the three-part Matthews v. Eldridge federal constitutional test to determine what process would be due. Applying the Matthews test, the judge concluded that plaintiff children had a right to counsel. The court also cited the Supreme Court's Santosky v. Kramer decision's concern for the "risk of erroneous factfinding" which the judge noted can occur in dependency cases. However, the judge did not explicitly state that he was finding a right to counsel in dependency cases based on the U.S. Constitution itself.

When a child is removed from their custodial parent for abuse/neglect and unless the noncustodial parent has been convicted in a court of law of a violent crime against the child the child should go directly to the non abusive parent. There is no reason for a back ground check or a home study, it is a constitutional right for the child to be raised by their parents. This will prevent attachment problems it will provide stability for the child. The record of the non custodial parents can be found in the Child Support division.


GRANDPARENT VISITATION LAWS ARE "CONSTITUTIONAL"

NOVEMBER 14,2001 THE US SUPREME COURT UP HELD THE "LIBERTY INTEREST" OF CHILD TO CONTINUE IN ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP"

There seems to be some confusion following the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulling in the case of TROXEL v GRANVILLE. On June 5, 2000. In fact the high Court did not rule on the issue of grandparent rights, other than to hold that these type of cases must be decided on a "CASE-BY-CASE BASIS" and that "we would be hesitant to hold that specific non parental visitation statues violate the Due Process Clause as a per se matter". The Court then went on to cite all fifty state grandparent visitation statues and hold that they WERE NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The "best interest of the child" must prevail.

WEST VIRGINIA SUPPORTS CHILDREN'S RIGHTS



THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN Federal code:

U.S.CODE 42 SUB-SECTION 1983 CIVIL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN. " A CHILD IS A PERSON AND NOT A SUB PERSON OVER WHOM THE PARENT HAS AN ABSOLUTE POSSESSORY INTEREST (THIS IS NOT OWNER SHIP BUT IN A STATUS SYSTEM, BECAUSE OF THE VULNERABILITY OF CHILDREN, THEIR POSSIBLE INABILITY TO MAKE CRITICAL DECISIONS IN A MATURE MANNER, SUCH AS IN THE IMPORTANCE OF GUIDANCE.)
THE TERM "CHILD" DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN A MINOR, BUT CAN INCLUDE ADULT CHILDREN AND EVEN ADULT NON DEPENDANT CHILDREN. CHILDREN ARE GENERALLY AFFORDED THE BASIC RIGHTS EMBODIED BY THE CONSTITUTION.
THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE 14th AMENDMENT IS SAID TO APPLY TO CHILDREN--LEGITIMATE OR OTHERWISE, BUT EXCLUDING UNBORN CHILDREN."

FEDERAL AND STATE LAW:
THE ADOPTION SAFE FAMILY CHILD ACT LAWS
West Virginia state code supports co-parenting laws.
Grandparents Visitation Rights

When it is determined that a child is being neglected/abused the state MUST make 'REASONALBE EFFORT" to prevent the child from being taken from the home. This must be in writing, describe what steps and services have been provided,it must be made part of the court records. The Judge must remind CPS that if these steps are not completed and proven that they are been done, the state will not be eligeble for the FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS FOR THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF TIME THE CHILD IS IN FOSTER CARE.
If the child must be removed the state must "MAKE RESONABLE EFFORT" to place the child with a relative rather than placing the child in foster care.

Reasonable Efforts & Federal Foster Care Reimbursement to States (42 U.S.C. § 671 (a) (15) and 672 (a) (1) )
Child Abuse & Neglect Investigations (42 USC, CHAPTER 132, SEC IV § 13031)
Relative Placement Consideration & Hearings (Section 471(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a))...(18) provides that States shall give preference to an adult relative over a non-related caregiver when determining a placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant State child protection standards.

"SERVICES TO FAMILIES IN CRISIS - AS MANDATED BY 42 U.S.C. § 671 (a) (15) and 672 (a) (1) - " an agency cannot be reimbursed for the cost of a child's out-of-home care unless the reasonable efforts requirement is met."

BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD

THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF THE CHILD IS PARAMOUNT IN ALL SITUATION INVOLVING CHILDREN
Studies have proven that each time a child is exposed to abuse of any type regardless if the abuse is directed to the child or not, it changes the chemistry of their brain and the leading cause of learning disabilities. It only takes 3 moves in foster care homes to create attachment disorders
THERE IS NO ROOM FOR JUDICIAL DISCRETION
ZERO TOLERENCE FOR CHILD ABUSE

OFFICERS:

VOICES UNITED INC...
President LOIS STONE Telephone 304-988-2891....... Vice President Bill Bailey ..........
TREASURE: Wendy Sims

E mail
Secretary: ANNIE OTTO....
E mail
FRN BOARD OF DIRECTORS, MARTINSBURG, WV HEDGESVILLE, WV 25427
TELEPHONE: 304-754-3802

MEMBERSHIP $10.00 per year
other members to contact:

BILL & LOLA BAILEY.... Friendly, WV E mail

In Charleston Wendy Sims
Maury Johnson....E mail
Greenville, WV
Telephone: 304-536-4613 or 832-6085-655-2558

Executive Board Members:
William E.(Bill) Bailey
Lola Bailey
Michael Stone
Lois Stone
Maury Johnson

RELATIVES AS PARENTS PROGRAMS (RAPP)
Doug PARKS. Mission West Virginia, (304) 523-2255 OR E mail
Carol Winland or Allison Nichols (304)-293-2694 or

TANF funds are available for the child only and does not consider the kinship providers income.
CHIPS Federal Children's Health Insurance Program available to all children up to the age of 18 years. Please contact the CHIP program in your state.
Kinship Care providers 60 years Senior Legal Srvices 1-800-229-5068 or www.seniorlegalaid.org

Grandparents Rights and "The Best Interest of the Child" ASFCA AND KINSHIP CARE LAWS definitions

ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS:
SUBSCRIBE TO THE ONLY MAGAZINE ESPECIALLY FOR GRANDPARENTS
WWW.GRANDPARENTSFORCHILDREN.ORG

CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND
AARP
CWLA

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Children's Rights Council
The Best Parent is Both Parents
WWW.GOCRC.COM

COALITION OF TWO PARENT FAMILIES

TELEPHONE:304-744-6534

E mail

AARP SLC

Janet H. Frazier 304-428-0369

THE COALITION OF WV CHILDREN
WEST VIRGINIA FAMILY RESOURCE NETWORK Region I
Hanock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Pleasants, Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Calhoun, Gilmer, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monnongalia counties

RURAL OPTIONS FOR SERVICES AND EDUCATION INC.
Doddridge, Ritchie, Tyler West Virginia Counties
Rt. 1, Box 850
Greenwood. WV 26415
Telephone: 304-873-3463 or Toll Free 1-888-443-2589
E mail

Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker Project. M.I.H.O.W.
DADS (DADS ADORE DAUGHTERS AND SONS)

NATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

FOR RESIDENTS OF WV ONLY:

LAWYER INFORMATION IS ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY:
Every Tuesday evening between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. volunteer attorneys from a variety of law firms, come to the State Bar Center to answer questons posed by the general public by phone.

If you have a legal question but don't know where to turn, try the LAWYER information Service's toll-free number, 1-800-642-3617

WV State Bar has a Lawyer Referral Service where a citizen can be given the name of an attorney who they can talk to for up to thirty minutes at an initial cost of only $25.00. At the end of thirty minutes, the lawyer decides if they want to take the case and the person can decide if they wish to hire the lawyer.
E mail www.wvbar.org/referral
Telephone 304-558-7991 or e mail www.wvbar.org/barinfo/services.
The WV Bar will be glad to provide a speaker if there is a group of citizens who have general or specific legal questions. Just contact the
WV Bar Executive Director Thomas R. Tinder, Esquire telephone 304-558-7993.
For legal pamphlets and general legal information including the topics of medical powers of attorney/living wills, senior citizen rights and law relating to young adults these materials are available.

NEED HELP FINDING AN ATTORNEY YOU CAN TRUST?
WHEN SEARCHING FOR A LAWYER BE SURE THEY ARE EDUCATED IN THE FIELD OF LAW YOU WANT THEM TO REPRESENT YOU IN. NOT ALL LAWYERS WORK IN FAMILY LAW AND MAY NOT KNOW THE LATEST RULINGS OR LAWS. DON'T FORGET YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN APPEAL IF THE COURTS FAIL TO RULE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD!

CHILDLAW SERVICES, INC.( (CHILDREN ONLY)

Providing Free Legal Services for Children
Mary Ellen Griffith
1605 Honaker Ave.
Princeton, WV 24740
Phone 304-425-9973

Patricia Kutsch Wheeling, WV Telephone 304-232-8078
Gary Rymer, Middlebourne, WV 304-758-4448
Joseph Albright, Parkersburg, WV, 304-44-5163


The Child Abuse Prevention Network

The World Wide Internet Nerve Center for professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect.

In Association with Amazon.com

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NATIONAL ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS

MORE IMPORTANT LINKS

"Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Parent Responsibility & Abuse
Rulings on Children's Rights
Things You Should Know About Custody
The Rights of The Child
Children of Divorce
Domestic Violence
Grandparents Rights and "The Best Interest of the Child" definition
Domestic Violence
Battered Women
Legal Terms & Meanings
Parental Responsibility
Child Abuse
Bill of Rights of A Child
Signs of Domestic Violence
WV Supreme Court Rulings

This Woman against Violence

site is owned by

GrandChildren/GrandParents Rights INC.

VOICE UNITED, INC.against Domestic Violence & Child Abuse

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Woman against Violence

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